so, when I built my boat last year I did not research oil vs varnish vs epoxy enough and I started off using a boiled linseed oil product on my oak inwales and grab rails. I wanted to feel the natural grain of the wood instead of a varnish. I also did not read up on how many coats are needed for good protection. I only applied about 4 times before my Grand Canyon trip and part way down the trip I started to get some slight cracking in the wood. I grabbed some olive oil from he kitchen and slathered up my oak and that worked to get me home without any real damage. Since then I have regularly and aggressively applied additional coats of boiled linseed oil and everything looks fine. After further research it seems dozens and dozens of applications are really necessary to get good protection, especially on outside oak.
The next thing I'm facing is that I'm moving to Bend in a couple weeks and I have a pool table competing for garage space at my new house so Bodacious will likely get stored in my backyard under a car cover. I'm worried about a constant fight to keep the oak oiled and wondering if I let it dry, and sand it lightly, could I switch to varnish or just a layer of West Resin? I have read you should not resin over linseed oil, but I'm not too concerned about the structural adherence of the resin, it would just be to waterproof the oak. Would it likely just flake off and look like a mess? Should I just keep oiling monthly? I can make time to do it if that's where I'm at. I just don't ever want to see cracks in the Oak again and since Bo is about to live outdoors full time I'm considering options. Thank you for any input.
You can always just mix in varnish with the oil
Many use some concoction "boat soup" that is often the builder's proprietary blend. Brad Dimmock has shared his formula: equal parts boiled linseed, spar varnish, turpentine, and pine tar for a nice aroma. No need to ever sand and refinish, just reapply at least annually. The turpentine cuts it enough to get good penetration into the wood. I have replaced all my varnish on the drift with this as the varnish wears off. Also now have it on my Briggs.
You can do resin over linseed, but the gunnels will need to dry out for a year or two (I did that on my oldest oars which were first linseed-oiled, and are now epoxy/varnish).
I'd agree with @Kevin Bird that boat soup is probably what you're looking for. The turps will help the BLO and varnish penetrate better.
thanks , that's the information I was looking for.